Restaurant review: Coco Grill and Lounge, London Bridge

Coco Grill and Lounge
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Coco Grill and Lounge is a completely alcohol-free experience near London Bridge. Vada Magazine were invited to try out their menu from across the Mediterranean and virgin cocktail selection.

Coco Grill and Lounge

Warmly lit during our visit when London was briefly laden with mid-December snow, we were greeted with friendly service and invited to relax in the lounge area before heading to our table.

Location-wise Coco is perfectly located for a view across the City of London and Tower Bridge, reserve a window table or – in warmer months – book a table on the outdoor terrace.

Back inside, guests will find Coco Lounge and Grill has a warm, colourful and fun interior – with blossom trees, neon artwork, a space for selfies, on a backdrop of warm colours and dark woods throughout.

Food

All of Coco’s menu is halal, with the menu identify many different allergens, making it easy for diners to select what they want. From the menu, we ordered some Sumac yoghurt aubergines with Turkish bread (£5) for table. Then to start we chose the Crispy spiced shrimps (£14) and Crispy calamari (£14) served with Sriracha sauce – expect a kick. Both starers were served on dry ice with waiters pouring water over this, to kick-start a theatrical start to meal. Anyone who thinks they bring the drama will be stepping back from centre-stage as it is these starters that dish the drama.

For mains we opted for the Coco Special Chicken (£28) which is served in a creamy mushroom sauce with mashed potato and a mixed salad, and a rib-eye steak (£35) The steak is about 250grams, and is served with truffle mayo and a mixed leaf salad. There is an option to have your steak coated in edible 24-carat gold leaf (for an extra £15), which we declined. However we did choose steak-cut fries (£5) and rice (£5) with lemongrass, coconut, and crispy onion for the table. We found the steak to be cooked perfectly to our liking, and the special chicken was exactly as described – creamy and delicious, it lacked the wow factor against the steak. When we visit next time, we are keen to try the Mixed Coco Shish.

After all the drama, indulgent food (including multiple carbs – but who’s counting, it’s December), we perused the dessert menu. Despite the chocolate options, we chose the most savoury option, Kunafa (£15), which is baked kataif pastry with cheese in the middle, served with vanilla ice-cream and a fruit compote. There is a 20 minute wait on this dessert as each is cooked fresh as needed, but that gave us time to digest the earlier courses. We shared this between two, which we found plenty given everything else we’d eaten and drunk. The Kunafa pastry was perfectly crisp and crunchy and the cheese just melting inside. We couldn’t fault it.

Cocktails

All the cocktails at Coco Grilll and Lounge are designed not only without alcohol, but to maximise Instagram impact i.e. everything from the Redemption cocktail menu is fabulously presented.

We chose a couple of Bees Knee’s (£10.50) to start off, incorporating Sicilian Lemon and a touch of honey for sweetness, this tall pink drink is very refreshing. We also had a Passion Fruit Mojito (£10) – what this lacks in alcohol, it makes up intense, sweet tang. For a truly dramatic cocktail, we recommend the Royal Spirit Dakari (£12.50), which is well balanced sweet and sour. It is presented with a bubble of smoke on top, which diners pop by dropping an edible flower on top before drinking. The cocktail of choice for attention seeking 😉

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Service

From arrival, throughout dinner and even when we left, staff at Coco Grill and Lounge were friendly, checked in us regularly and were friendly. They clearly had a few options they wanted to push for the evening, but this was not done too a pushy way.

Overall thoughts

For anyone thinking that being an alcohol-free venue, somehow means ‘less than’ in anyway, scrap that pretence. Coco Grill and Lounge offers really comfortable surroundings, for a fun, indulgent dining experience: maximum enjoyment with zero hangover. Perhaps somewhere to consider for those who may be participating in dry January next month.

Our meal would cost approximately £80 per person for three courses and 2 cocktails each, not including service.

Given the interiors, the romantic views across London Bridge, and decadence and drama of the food, Coco Grill and Lounge would be a perfect date night. In fact we noted a number of couples celebrating birthdays on our visit.

Location: 34a Shad Thames, London, SE1 2YG

For more information or to reserve a table, visit coco-restaurants.com

 

About Tim Firmager

Tim divides his time being a Digital Consultant in The City and as a food and travel writer across the globe. When he's not working as one of the Lifestyle Editors here at Vada, he's planning his next trip, or on the lookout for the latest food crazes or unusual foods in London's markets.